As a blogger, once you start earning from your blogging hustle, you want to better the income so that you can get more money trickling into your account. Fortunately, this can easily be done by implementing a few conversion rate optimization hacks on the web page itself. I will suggest some of the hacks that I personally use on my Amazon affiliate sites.
Better premium theme
Whenever I am starting a new niche blog, I use free themes. The sites therefore are not that pleasant to look at. But when I start getting organic traffic to the site, I dig into my pocket and buy a premium theme.
Well, to rank on Google, you do not need a premium theme. All you need is sound SEO strategies.
But when you start getting traffic, the next thing you want is conversions and free themes are not very good with conversions.
Some of the popular premium themes that help with affiliate marketing conversions include Rehub, Generatepress, Elementor, Thrive Architect and Astra.
Use tables to compare products
I use tablepress plugin to create some good looking tables that compare different products on my web pages. In the tables, I compare the product features as well as the prices for each. I also insert a call to action button for each product so that when clicked, the reader is taken to Amazon.
Other than the free tablepress plugin, one could also buy premium plugins such as amalinks pro and AAWP that help with comparison charts.
Use of beautiful call to action (CTA) buttons
[su_button background=”#6296d0″ color=”#f5f2f2″]This is a CTA[/su_button]
I have been using shortcode ultimate plugin to create some outstanding CTAs for my web pages. At one time, I also used max buttons plugin but I like the ultimate shortcode plugin since other than creating the CTAs, you could also use it to create boxes, highlight text etc.
Geo targeting all affiliate links
Whether you are using Amazon or any other affiliate program, you really need to look into geo targeting your affiliate links so that you will not be leaving any money on the table by ignoring customers from some countries.
When I started using genius link on my Amazon affiliate site, I found out that I was leaving at least $50 per month by not geo targeting my links.
If you are in Amazon affiliate marketing, you could also try Amazon onelink since it serves the same purpose.
Better your copy
You might be getting lots of traffic but not getting any money.
This can happen when your copy is badly written and no one trusts the reviews. They will not end up clicking on your CTAS.
To better your review content, you need to really research on your products, use them and give an honest review or hire expert writers who are going to do the writing for you.
Use Amazon native ads
For readers who are using Amazon affiliate marketing, you could better your earnings by inserting Amazon native ads so that users can see them and click through to the Amazon store.
You need to give it a try on your Amazon niche site.
Compare prices from two merchants
I have found that when you give your readers the option to compare product prices from two or more merchants, they are highly likely to click through on your affiliate links where you have the best prices.
Recommend the best product using a sticky sidebar widget and having it as a featured product at the top of post
If you are writing a review post on the ‘best mattresses under $500’ where you go through 10 mattresses, you could have one of them as a featured product at the top of your post as well as using a sticky sidebar widget where you say that it is the best mattress.
Some readers might not be interested in reading through the entire post but will just click through the links for the featured products.
I keep saying this; that for a complete online marketing newbie, Amazon affiliate program should be the first place where you start.
We will examine the truth of that statement as we look at our 4 amazon affiliate success stories.
[su_note]The Amazon affiliate program is not only easy, newbie friendly but also has a ton of customers. So for anything that you recommend and have good (presold) traffic, you can be sure to earn good money.[/su_note]
I talk about presold traffic since you need to ensure that the person reading your review site is really interested in buying the products that you are reviewing. Going through your review should not be the first time that they are hearing about the product you are writing about. The best source of presold traffic is search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
While people might see your pin images on Pinterest and go on to your site and get convinced about buying your products, it is never the rule but rather an exception. People on Pinterest will, yes, get piqued by the visually appealing review pins you have done but they are not really intending to buy your products. At times though, they might buy.
On Google, one will only search for ‘best mattresses under $500’ if they are indeed interested in that product and so when they bump into your site reviewing mattresses under $500, they are highly likely to click on your call to action buttons and go ahead to buy what you are recommending.
Advantages of Amazon affiliate marketing
Getting in is easy since all you need to do is create a blog which you can do so at $25 and then go ahead to select your niche, put up content, rank and bank.
Amazon is well trusted and so people who you push to the store are highly likely to make a purchase.
If there is one man who gob smacked everyone in the online marketing world with his highly earning affiliate site, then it has to be Luqman Khan. Luqman created this crazy affiliate site named 10beasts.com, earned so much from the site within a short period, sold it, had it penalized by Google immediately after he sold it and then went ahead to remove the penalty and reinstate the site.
I am a big fan of Doug Cunnington of nichesiteproject.com where he takes about how one can grow their Amazon affiliate site to a five figure monthly salary. He has this easy way to look for keywords that will rank with little effort. He calls it the keyword golden ratio and true to his words, I have always used it with lots of success.
Tung Trang started online marketing as a student. He is a big name in amazon affiliate marketing where he tried the $10k per month challenge. Though he got a Google Penalty for his site, he has gone on to start other successful amazon affiliate sites.
Key takeaways from these 4 highly successful Amazon affiliates
Great content and design for your site
As most bloggers say–content is king! And so is it, in amazon affiliate marketing.
So if you are looking for tips on how to be a successful amazon affiliate, think great content.
Affiliate sites are all about answering questions that readers might have about products before the make the final buying decision. You therefore have to put out great converting content that is going to convince the reader to click onto your affiliate links and go ahead to complete the purchase at Amazon.
To churn out great content, you could either hire expert writers who have used the products, or researched extensively about the feel, look and efficacy of the product. For new bloggers, buying the products so as to review them or have them looked at by experts might be too expensive and therefore, you use option number two; research extensively about the product and describe it as though you have held it in your arms.
Diversify your earnings with other affiliate programs as well as ads
Depending on one online income is a danger in itself. You should always diversify into other income streams so that if you were to be pushed away from one, you can always rely on others. Spencer Haws talks about how he uses ads on his review sites so that other than earning from the Amazon affiliate program, he is still able to earn from Ezoic and Google Adsense too.
Luqman talks about how he was able to geo target his Amazon affiliate links with genius so that he would be able to earn from Amazon UK, Canada and US.
Diversify your traffic sources
Depending on one traffic source could also pose a danger. You are not to rely on Pinterest or Google alone. Try to look for other alternative traffic sources so that if an update pushes you out from one traffic source, you have other places to look up to.
4. Keyword research is everything
Without proper keyword research, you will start a blog where you stand no chances of ever ranking or making a penny.
Now no one wants to do this. To avoid that, you need to invest in proper knowledge of niche selection, keyword research and also think of buying premium keyword research tools such as ahrefs.
Once you get approved into the Amazon associates program, you want to work on your earnings so that you can reach your first payout. After reaching your first payout, you want to go ahead and earn your first $100, $200, $300,…,$1000, $5000 and even $10000 per month.
In this post, I talk of some of the strategies that I have used (and are still using )to scale my Amazon affiliate earnings.
So lets dig into them:
Use Amazon native ads
Amazon has these native ads that they say will increase your affiliate income.
Have I seen them work for me? Yes, I have.
The ads are native in that they seem to be part of your site. You can add them before reviewing different products in your ‘best xyz products’.
All you need to do is login to your Amazon associates account and go to Product Linking then click on Native Shopping ads.
There are three types of native ads: search, recommendation and custom.
I like using the custom ads where you search the products that you review and they will be displayed with the star ratings as well as the prices.
You see most of the people visiting your site and clicking through to Amazon store are most probably on mobile. So why not have something that will show them a featured product at the bottom of the mobile screen as they scroll so that you increase their chances of buying the product.
According to Amazon, mobile pop overs have been shown to increase click through rates by 30%.
Write more content reviewing other products in niche that you are ranking for
If you are using Google search engine, you will find that you are ranked in the first page of the SERPS when Google feels that you are an authority in the niche and are providing the best solutions to what people are looking for. If this is your case, then it is high time to go out writing lots of product reviews in that niche.
Say for example that you have ranked for the best mattresses, duvets and pillows. Then it is clear that Google feels that you could be an authority in the sleep niche. So why not go ahead to write about best bed covers, mattress toppers and bed risers and also order description somewhere about how to Order Mattress in a box on Amazon.
Better your SEO and diversify your Traffic source
If you are primarily getting your traffic from Google then you could diversify your traffic and try Pinterest or even Quora.
At the same time, you could better your rankings by bettering your SEO. Say for example that you are ranking position 8 for a keyword, you are sure to getter more traffic and hence earnings if you were to move to the top three positions.
So how can you better your SEO?
Build more backlinks to your site
You can build more backlinks to your site. These backlinks could either be blog comments, links from a private blog networks, forum links or collaborate with other bloggers in your niche to get guest post backlinks.
Increase topical relevance for keywords that are almost ranking
Say for example that you are ranking on position 15 for the keyword ‘best bed covers’. You have tried everything to move the keyword up the serps but nothing seems to be giving in. Well, you could try to increase the topical relevance to move the needle.
You can do this by creating more content on bed covers and linking out to the pillar page that you want to rank. For example you can create three posts on 1. How to clean bed covers. 2 How to select the best bed covers. 3. How to repurpose your old bed covers.
Scoop featured snippets
Bloggers who get the featured snippet search results enjoy more traffic as compared to those who are in the other top 10 positions. You can always grab the featured snippet by working on your page schema.
Updating old content
Google loves fresh content. If you are ranking for a post on ‘best mattresses’ that has 15 products and 1500 words, you can always add 5 more mattresses and to up the content to 2000 words.
However as you update old content, look out not to alter the keyword density.
Improve your on page optimization by having the focus keyword in the SEO title, meta descriptions, h2s, content as well as in your image alt text.
Localize your Amazon affiliate links either with Amazon Onelink or genius link
If you are getting some earnings for the keyword ‘best mattresses’ from Amazon USA, you could probably also be getting some earnings from Amazon UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Italy and India if you are ranking on the serps of those countries.
You could always check whether you are ranking for a certain keyword in a certain locality using ahrefs.
Once you establish that you are indeed ranking for the keyword in any of those countries, create an Amazon associates account for those countries and go ahead to localize your site affiliate links with genius or Amazon onelink.
I use genius link since it is easy to install, seamless to use and has a better ROI as compared to Amazon onelink. It is however a paid tool and so for people who want to localize their Amazon affiliate links freely, they could always use onelink.
Diversify your earnings with ad income
If you are getting enough traffic to drive sales to Amazon through Search engines or pinterest, then it means that you could also earn from ad networks such as Google adsense, ezoic and mediavine.
For ezoic, they require that you have at least 10,000 views per month and be adsense approved. For mediavine, you will need to have at least 50000 page views per month in order to join.
Mediavine have the best rpms but it is usually harder to join and they might reject you even when you have the over 50000 sessions per month.
Join other affiliate programs that have better commission rates
After the Amazon affiliate income commission cuts, I joined shareasale. Though they do not have such a good conversion as compared to Amazon, they have better commission rates.
I for example am in the health niche where Amazon are giving a measly 1% commission. For some of those health products, shareasale are giving me a 10% commission.
So should I ditch Amazon and move over to shareasale?
No, Amazon has won the trust of many people and therefore the conversion rate is very high.
I therefore need to be creative and work on comparing the products on shareasale and Amazon so that readers can make their own choice over where to buy the product from.
Psychological Call to action buttons
You need to do a/b split testing on your CTAs to see the ones that are better at conversions. You might need to change the call to action button colors, sizes as well as positioning on your site.
Neil Patel talks about how to tweak your CTAs into what he calls psychological.
See where your readers are clicking with heat maps so as to position your CTAs there
You can tell where your readers are clicking on your site by use of heatmaps. Once you identify those exact positions, then you can place your heat maps at those positions. Some of the most popular heatmaps that you can use include hotjar and crazyegg.
Have comparison charts above the fold of your site.
For ‘best xyzs’ you can create comparison charts and place them above the fold. I have found comparison tables placed above the fold to always increase my click through rates.
Create new affiliate sites and replicate your success
Once you have created a site, ranked and made money from the Amazon affiliate program, you could always try to replicate that success by creating another affiliate site.
You will find that for your second and subsequent sites, you will be able to rank easily and see your earnings faster than you had seen in your first site when you were still a newbie.
How Beginners can Cheaply start a wordpress Blog to Make Money
If you have been following my series of blog posts, you by now know that blogging can be a profitable thing especially when you target a certain audience who will be reading your blog religiously and helping you make them bucks.
So you are now convinced and want to start an affiliate site or maybe a site where you earn through ads from Google adsense or ezoic but are not sure the cheapest way to do so.
Well in this post, I will tell you exactly how you can start one at the cost of $25 only for the first year.
In this post, I will be assuming that you have already done all the preliminaries about affiliate marketing.
The $20 the cost does not include: keyword research cost, content creation, premium theme or building backlinks.
The cost is only for buying a domain name and hosting your website files.
But these are the most important. Once you have them, you can have your site running.
I believe that with the right knowledge, you can do your own keyword research, write your content, use a free theme and build your own foundational backlinks to rank a low competition niche.
Now that is out of the way, let us look at what the $25 will help you do.
Selecting and buying your domain name at $6.98 from Namecheap
Yes, you will be buying your $6.98 from Namecheap.
But before you go right to buying it, you need to think about the domain name.
It needs to be brandable.
Sometimes back, webmasters would buy exact keyword match domains (EMDs in short).
You can still do so.
But it is limiting in that you can only blog about one thing.
Say for example that I want a site where I will be reviewing the best sofas and therefore name my website exact match domain as bestsofas.com
It will be limiting in that I can only blog about sofas. I can never go to other things such as reviewing the best curtains, dinner chairs or wall clocks for your house.
At the same time, SEO experts have argued that Google is highly likely to penalize your site if you are using an exact match domain (EMD).
So what would be a brandable name for person reviewing best furniture for your home?
I would go for names that have no meaning in English say for example: houhou.com, leslyi.com, sofix.com, besto.com etc
Short domain name
The website domain name needs to be short and precise.
Go for something that has at most 6 characters.
In our examples above, houhou has only 6 characters, sofix has 5 while besto has 5 too.
Short domain names are easy to remember for your readers.
Now, that we know what to look for in a domain name, let us look at the exact process of buying your $5.98 domain from Namecheap.
You want to join an affiliate program that pays you well and promptly.
Amazon vs shareasale: Which should you Join to See Higher Earnings
I informed you that since the amazon associates program cut their affiliate commission rates, I was going to look for alternatives. And well, I did look around.
I tried to sign up with Target, Walmart as well as shareasale. The former two however did not please me since their affiliate commission rates seemed to be no better than amazon for the products that I am promoting.
With shareasale though, I was able to find one merchant who snugly fits what I do, have better pricing for my readers and will offer me better commission rates. It is a win-win for all.
Now shareasale is a big affiliate marketing program with over 4000 merchants registered into the program. Unlike amazon, you will have to do double applications:
1. Apply to shareasale and get accepted
2. Apply to individual merchants and once approved, start promoting their products.
I should point out that this was rather hectic for me.
The merchant who snugly fits into what I do took so long to accept my application. I was also at first autorejected by shareasale. I however tweeted and emailed them with a detailed descripition of what I do and the promotion methods that I use. I also pointed out that I was previously on amazon associates program and therefore knows the ins and outs of affiliate marketing and SEO.
They accepted me.
The next headache was applying to the merchant. They were silent. I tried to inbox them on facebook. Crickets. Another email. Crickets. A tweet. Crickets. I almost gave up
Then luckily, someone in the company noticed my emails. They accepted me into the program.
I started adding their affiliate links into my site. I did not completely remove my amazon affiliate links. No, I just did a price comparison so that a customer would feel obliged to click to the merchant site as opposed to amazon since the merchant have better pricing.
How to Get Your Shareasale Application Accepted
From my autorejection at shareasale, I have gathered a few tips that you could use to make sure that you are accepted into the program
Make sure to use your domain email eg firstname.lastname@example.org as opposed to using a generic hotmail, yahoo or gmail email address as a generic email address will get autorejected.
Ensure to adequately describe what your site does and how you promote products either via SEO, Pinterest or Facebook marketing
If they still autoreject you even after doing all that send an email to email@example.com from your domain email
Here is the structure of the email I sent them:
Email Subject: Application as an Affiliate Marketer
James here, founder of domain.com.
Domain.com is a site that reviews products in the ….niche where I advise readers on what to look for when buying….. I also write advising them on how to use….
I am writing applying for consideration into your affiliate program so that I can promote products for merchant A and B.
Currently I am using Amazon Associates program but wish to move since they have lowered commissions for affiliates. Your merchants are offering better commission rates as well as a better pricing point for my readers.
Currently, I am getting a traffic of about 3000 viewers per month.
I use search engine optimization to rank on Google, Bing and Yahoo. I also promote my content via Pinterest and Facebook.
I am ranking for keywords such as
This shows that the readers have a buying interest.
Attached, please find a report of the orders I have referred to Amazon over the past one year.
Please do consider my application positively.
I look forward to working with you.
Thanks in advance.
At the moment, I have not amassed that much in earnings from shareasale. I have only made $13 from 4 sales made through 38 clicks. It is still early days to make any conclusions on the conversion rates.
Maybe when I have over 1000 click throughs, then I can come back and analyze the conversion rates as well as what I have earned from the program.
The good thing is that I am getting a whooping 10% commission from shareasale as opposed to the measly 1% that I was making with amazon for the same products.
How to Receive Amazon Affiliate Payments if you are in a third world country
Sometimes back, it was practically impossible to get your amazon affiliate payments if you were living out of the first tier countries (read Europe, Australia and America). For someone like me in Africa, you would have to have a relative or friend in the US whom you would ask to receive the payments on your behalf and then they would wire it to you.
Now that is not something that you want to do with your hard earned money. Not especially if this person in the US is not very trustworthy.
However, with time, things have got changed and become simpler. One way to receive amazon associates earnings that I can vouch as seamless, easy and reliable is Payoneer.
Payoneer is a financial solution that allows you to create virtual bank accounts in the Americas as well as Europe while you are still in Nairobi or your home city.
How to create a Payoneer account
Now creating a Payoneer account is pretty easy. All you will need is provide your personal details, address and email which you will be receiving payment notifications. You also need to provide a unique password which you can renew after a duration of time. Of late they have enhanced the security of your account by asking you to provide your phone so as to send codes for 2 factor authentication purposes.
They will also send you a payoneer Mastercard branded account upon your request. With the Mastercard, you can withdraw your funds from any Mastercard branded ATM. To get this Mastercard, you need to provide your real mailing address since it will be mailed to you. You can always request for another card incase the first one fails to arrive.
So lets go step by step
You need to click on the register button that is highlighted in orange
Next, they will want to know why you are registering a payoneer account. Now as an affiliate marketer, choose that option and then indicate that you will be paid by publishers
Now, give your personal details including email and location address.
You will then be asked further questions and once done, they are going to review your application and revert to you via the email address you supplied.
What I like about getting my Amazon associate earnings using Payoneer
You will get a whooping $25 when you sign up through my affiliate link. Yes for free. I too will receive it when you start earning and get your first $100 payment
They will provide you with a virtual US bank account. You can use the same bank account to get payment from other companies such as shareasale, upwork that use direct deposit for US users
You can withdraw your funds in local currency or USD using your mastercard at Mastercard ATMs
Good foreign exchange conversion rates
I am able to withdraw cash from payoneer to my local bank account in hours.
I am able to get payments from not only US but also UK, Canada, UK and Australia.
How to add Payoneer account to to your Amazon Associates account
As you are signing up as an affiliate with the amazon associates program, the last item that they will ask is you to enter your payment details.
Now head over to Payoneer and get those details. Copy paste them as they are into your amazon associates account and you will be done.
Here are my details for payments coming from the US
Now copy those details to your amazon associates account dashboard
If you are getting traffic from UK, Canada and Australia, you would also want to create more amazon associate accounts for those countries and then request payoneer to give you bank accounts to add to your respective associate accounts.
Now, using genius link or the free option of onelink, you will be able to localize your links and therefore get earnings from these countries too.
Again, head over to payoneer and click to receive payments from the said countries then copy paste the payment details to your respective amazon associates accounts.
When you are an affiliate with amazon, you will always be looking for ways to increase your earnings.
You could either do this by working on your search engine optimization(SEO) or your conversion rate optimization(CRO).
With SEO, you are looking to increase your traffic so that with more people reading your blog, more people are likely to buy via your affiliate links and so your revenue shoots up. With CRO, you are looking to improve the user experience on your site and convincing them to stop being casual readers but buyers. So here you just need the same traffic.
I consider localizing of links by Onelink as a CRO tactic. You will be using the same traffic but converting more of them to buyers.
What is Amazon Onelink
Amazon Onelink is a tool by Amazon.com that is to be used by their associates to localize links. Let me give an example of what it means to localize links.
Say that Alejandro in Spain comes across your blog post review of the best ironing boxes.
So they find your Ramtons iron box to be the best and proceed to click on your call to action button telling them to check price on amazon. However, they are taken to Amazon.com but they would want to buy the same product from Amazon spain store, amazon.es.
That will be lost commission. But how about that you had a tool that would tell their ip address so that you direct them to amazon.es store and still get a commission there?
Well that is exactly what Amazon Onelink does. It checks the ip address of the buyer, takes them to a store near them and matches them to the product they were looking for in that store.
Of course you have to sign up as an associate with all the stores where you want to direct your customers. To do this, you need to first check where your readers are coming from. You can use Google Analytics or a Serp tool like Ahrefs to tell where the bulk of your readers are coming from.
Then once you have this out of the way, you can sign up to the various amazon affiliate programs. The sign up is similar in all stores.
However, they might use the local languages on the opened programs so use Google chrome translate tool to have an easy time signing up.
How to use Amazon Onelink
Once you have signed up, you can go ahead and use the Amazon Onelink tool. From your US affiliate program, click on tools then Onelink. You will be asked to link your accounts. Select those which you signed up for and enter the affiliate store codes.
Go ahead and use the supplied java script code to enter it into your theme editor in the header.php
Here is a video detailing the process of using Onelink
My experience using Amazon Onelink
I used Amazon Onelink for my primary site and left it to run for a week.
I have to say that it was pretty easy to install and within 2 days, I was already seeing clicks in my Canada, UK and Australia affiliate dashboards.
However, I was not at all pleased.
For one, it had product mismatches that would of course have the customers not buying.
At the same time, I found it to affect my Amazon US conversion rates. Normally, I would record a conversion rate of between 8% to 15% but here I was with a measly 3%. Since I had done nothing else to the site, I deduced that it was the Onelink that was lowering my conversion rates.
So I ended up removing it and using genius link instead. Though it is a paid tool, I have never regretted using it.
Advantages of localizing with Amazon Onelink
Free tool– you do not have to cough a dime to use Onelink since it is a free tool provided by Amazon themselves.
Easy set up– setting up Onelink as I have shown is a pretty easy thing. On the other hand, using other localizing tools like genius might prove to be more complicated.
Disadvantages of Amazon Onelink
Product mismatches–Onelink is highly likely to mismatch your products such that when a customer wants to go get a Ramtons iron box on Amazon.es, they might easily be redirectly to same store but for Phillips iron box.
Lowered conversion rates for my Amazon US stores.
Bottomline on my Amazon Onelink Review
After using Amazon Onelink, I would not recommend it at all. Though it is free and easy to set up, your objective when you are localizing links is to get more revenue. But look here, the tool does not do that; in my case it didn’t.
Instead of using Onelink, I would recommend that you better learn how to use genius link. Though it is a paid tool, I have found it to localize links well with minimal product mismatches, and it also tells me when products are out of stock.
On 14th April, 2020 Amazon announced that they would be slashing commissions that are given to their affiliates so that everyone would be receiving between 1 to 3% and nothing more than that.
As you can guess it was very devastating for people like me whose large chunk of online income is from the amazon associates program. I am in the health & personal care niche and as such from their renewed fee schedule, I will be earning a measly 1%.
This will cause about a 58% drop in my monthly income so that if I were earning $1000 from my site, it will drop to $420. Now this is bad for a program that I listed as one of my favorite in earning online.
It is very discouraging and I must say that here Amazon has screwed us a good one. Whether this is permament or temporary during this tough covid-19 period, nobody knows.
Of course the announcement caused me a sleepless night and my wife was quick to note that something was very wrong somewhere. Well, I explained to her what the email entailed and what I am expecting as from the 21st of April,2020.
Alternatives to the Amazon Associates Program
This was not the first time that amazon has reduced their associate commissions. In 2017 when I was still thinking of how to structure my first niche site, there were these complaints from the established affiliates as they cried foul after amazon slashed their income.
We never know; amazon might one day wake up and say that they no longer need their associates. Nobody will be able to do anything to them. We shall all cry about how unfair they are and they will do nothing about it.
It is high time that we all diversified. Over the last two days, I have been applying to a number of affiliate marketing program and I feel that you should be doing the same.
So what are the other alternatives to Amazon
Shareasale is part of the Awin network. It is a big affiliate program with thousands of advertisers in the home, health and beauty niches.
I have read blog post where they are expecting an influx of affiliates following the slash by Amazon.
Though it has been tough before to get accepted into their affiliate program, I hope that they are are going to relax their standards and allow us in.
You will be required to provide your personal details, the site url and description as well as your email address. I have read a post that advises that you use your firstname.lastname@example.org email as opposed to a generic gmail or yahoo email account.
Update: I joined shareasale and though they do not have that good a conversion rate, they have better commissions. I have done an amazon vs shareasale comparison so that you can have a quick look at how the two are different.
For those bloggers in the home and furniture niche, homedepot is a good affiliate program that you can sign up for. They also have a large US ecommerce market share and so things might not be so bad for you.
Market your site with ad networks such as Google Adsense, Ezoic, Mediavine and Adthrive
Talking of online income diversification, it is high time that you stopped relying entirely on the affiliate marketing income model and think of other alternatives such as earning through ads.
Personally, I have tried adsense as well as ezoic.
For google adsense and ezoic, they require that you have at least 10000 sessions per month before you can sign up.
For Mediavine, they want you to have at least 25,000 sessions per month. However, they might still reject your site with no good reason even when you have this traffic as I found out.
Adthrive is for the big boys who have more than 100k sessions per month. I am yet to reach that and so have never tried them out.
Should you ditch amazon for good?
I advise that you do not. Instead find ways in which to incorporate the other affiliate marketing programs to your already existing posts so that you offer your customers a comparison chart with choices where they can buy the products.
But why am I advising that you do not ditch amazon associates program in totality.
Well, Amazon has very nice conversion rates. For the long period of time that they have been in existence, customers have gained trust in the ecommerce giant. Anytime you send your traffic there, your reader is highly likely to end up buying the product from the site.
Amazon gives you a commission even for products that you do not recommend as long as those products are bought by people who arrived at amazon from your affiliate links. Lets say for example that I am reviwing keyboards on my niche site and someone clicks on one of the keyboards that I am recommending but end up not buying it but rather go ahead to buy a mouse, well amazon will still offer you a commission for that mouse bought.
I have read from some reputable blogs that this commission slash might be temporary. As everyone else, amazon is also going a rough patch during these covid 19 pandemic and as such to secure their profits, they have opted to slash associate commissions. This however is debateable and whether it is permanent or temporal, all we can do is wait.
The affiliate programs that I have listed as alternatives have stringent rules unlike in Amazon where signing up was so easy.
Times that probably none of us have ever witnessed when we are forced to work from home.
Times when the entire globe is fighting an invisible enemy and we do not have a known arsenal on how to beat him.
Times when most people have lost their jobs while others have been forced to take pay cuts. Times when businesses and schools have had to close indefinitely.
Times when most countries are in a lockdown.
At the moment, I think everyone whether you are in a developed or developing nation, you are feeling the pinch.
I too have been affected. I had to close down the ICT class that I train in the second week of March and send students home till we are done fighting this invisible enemy.
I have been home figuring how things are going to run. Though I am still receiving my monthly salary, I do not know for how long my boss can continue paying me while I continue remaining at home.
It is uncertainty on top of more uncertainty.
I have been spending most of my time working on my potato farm and I look forward to leasing yet another piece of land since we really need food during this corona period. In my country Kenya, we are yet to have a full lock-down but a cessation of movement in the major towns is all the government has done as of now. Since the full lock-down might eventually come, and it seems inevitable that it will, I want it that we have enough food to last us.
Anyway, let me cut you the slack and go to the juice of the post.
Every government agency is telling us that we should be working from home. And most of us know very well that you can work from home as a freelancer or better still as an affiliate marketer.
I have tried both. And currently, I am still working as an affiliate marketer and I am not looking back. Not any time soon.
Anyway, so what is required of you if you are to work at home online during this corona period?
1. Freelance Work on Upwork
If you are a writer, programmer or graphic designer, you can earn through freelancing.
Just sign up with reputable freelancing sites that are seeking your skillsets.
Let me give you a little story on my freelance writing journey
Back in 2015, 2016 and 2017 when I was an active freelance writer, there was this site iwriter.com where I would wake up every morning, take articles from the writing pool and work on them. Clients would then either accept and reject the articles.
Of course, most of the clients were dishonest and would reject an article, therefore not pay for it, but go ahead to use it on their sites.
Later on, I realized that iwriter.com was, for lack of a better word, a content mill that was all out there to please requesters while slaving the writers.
I left it.
The best freelancing site at the moment is upwork.com where you highlight your skills, go ahead to apply for jobs, submit proposals to potential clients and when they hire you, you go ahead to submit high quality work that will wow them.
To survive as a freelance writer, you need to always deliver pure gold in terms of quality and also make sure that clients are paying you for what you are worth for.
Upwork is a decent freelancing site that allow you to strike a deal with the client, negotiate your pay per hour and act as an escrow to ensure that you get paid.
2. Site and App Testing Jobs
We are in the eCommerce age where every stall, company and business has found the need to sell online.
Some of the eCommerce websites are however not well designed or user interactive.
Businesses therefore want random people to test whether their websites are user friendly and you give an honest opinion on how apt the interface was.
3. Take Online Surveys
There are sites that give you rewards once you complete an online survey.
All that you need to do is give honest feedback to matching surveys and you will earn some rewards either monetary or shopping for your responses. They include:
This is what I currently do and at the moment, two of my sites are fully on autopilot. I do not have to do anything but I still get about $30 for one site as Amazon commission. I love the model because I am able to focus on other things in life such as family as well as having fun.
As an update, the Amazon associates program have reduced their associates commissions as from 14th April and everyone who was using the model is running Helter-skelter looking for alternatives that are going to pay them decent commissions.
That notwithstanding, the affiliate marketing venture is a good one for anyone who is looking to earn a good passive online income. You can see my amazon affiliate success story here.
To do affiliate marketing, you need to do the following:
Identify a niche in which you want to blog about.
Set out your blog by buying a brandable domain name and get good hosting
Create content for the site
Do off page SEO.
Sign up as an affiliate with an affiliate program. I would recommend Amazon for starters. (They have however reduced their commissions as of 14th April).
When you start earning, identify areas in which to improve your blog either onpage, off page or CRO.
5. Earn Through Ads on Your Blog
If you are a blogger, you have probably heard about earning through adsense, ezoic, mediavine or adthrive,
All these are ad networks that allow you to place merchant adverts on your site and earn from them depending on the number of people that see the ads per day.
I believe that the amazon associates program should be where anyone wishing to dip their feet into online affiliate marketing should start.
Other than the ease to join the program, Amazon has a high reputation for quality products and so your readers are highly likely to make a purchase when you recommend products on the store.
It is also important to note that once you recommend products with your affiliate links, if the reader goes ahead to buy other products other than what you had recommended, you will get a commission on all products bought using your affiliate links.
Having said that, I feel the Amazon Associates program is one of the legit ways to make money online without much investment and I have it listed here.
So how does one get into the amazon associates program?
It is very easy.
All you need is to go ahead and sign up at amazon associates program , fill in all the contact, website and payment details required and you are good to go.
Let us look at it step by step
Go to Amazon associates program where you will click on the ‘join now for free’ button
2. Next you will be required to provide your name and email address
You might be asked to verify that email address with amazon sending you a six digit code to your email.
3. Fill in your Payee details
Here give your exact address details
3. Tell Amazon what your site is
4. They will want to confirm that your site is not targeting kids below 13 years.
5. They will then ask you to write what your site is all about. Summarize what you do in your site. In my case I used a fictional ‘domain.com’ as my site and said that I blog about electronics. Then say how you wish to promote their products. You can check the SEO and Social media boxes.
This is the final detail that they will want from you as of now. You can opt to fill your tax and payment details later.
If you are a non-US, you will not pay any taxes and as such you need to indicate that you are not from the US.
Personally, I use my blog to review and recommend products. While one can still use YouTube videos or even Facebook posts, I find using my WordPress blog as the most appropriate.
Steps to Earning through Amazon Associates using a WordPress Blog
So if you have opted for the WordPress blog option, read on.
Before even signing up into the program, you need to have a blog that is ranking for certain buyer keywords.
So the first thing is creating your blog and finding a niche to blog about.
Find a Niche
Niches are fields or topics that feature on your blog posts.
I recommend brainstorming, looking around you or even stealing the niche from other blogs.
Niches can include baby products, clothes for pregnant women, bodybuilding products for men, electronics for students etc.
You can go through nichehacks which has a good number of suggested niches.
2. Keyword Analysis
Once you have a niche, you need to find easy to rank for keywords
I highly recommend using the KGR method by Doug Cunnington to do so.
Lets say that we found the niche ‘clothes for pregnant women’ as the easiest to blog about.
We have a passion for it and are sure to create high quality content around it.
For this blog purposes, will use keyword research tools such as Ubbersuggest to find the search volume per month.
So, in that niche, I want to create a blog post where I review the best panties for pregnant ladies.
So I will go ahead and plug into Ubbersuggest to find what the search volume per month is as well as the SEO difficulty.
Here we go.
My interest is in the search volume per month of 40 and the SEO difficulty of 36.
According to me, that is not too difficult and a search volume of 40 is still something.
Okay, let’s go to the SERPs and see who are ranking and what is their backlink profile like.
So the site that scooped the Google featured snippet happen sto be momlovesbest.com
But what is their backlink profile like according to Ahrefs.
Now they have a DR of 66 and over 5 backlinks pointing onto the page. Now while the DR is rather high, 5 backlinks does not look too high to beat.
So should we go ahead and create a page on ‘panties for pregnant women’.
We need to look through the site momlovesbest.com and see the topical relevance of the site towards clothes for pregnant women.
And well, they are topically relevant. Almost all their posts are about pregnancy clothes.
Also their page has over 3000 words. So if we were to beat them, we would need more high quality content, a stronger backlink profile and also topical relevance.
Keyword Research ain’t a walk in the park. You need to repeatedly try it till you get a good keyword.
If you find one which has a good search volume per month and the people blogging about it do not have topical relevance or have a weak backlink profile, you can check whether it is KGR compliant.
KGR is a concept by Doug Cunnington where he says that if you find the ratio of the allintitle:keyword to the search volume per month to be less than 0.25, then you can be assured that you will easily rank for the keyword because not so many people are blogging around that.
For example we found our ‘panties for pregnant women’ to have a search volume of 40 people per month.
Now let us look for allintitle:panties for pregnant women on the Serps.
Now the blogs with the panties for pregnant women in their titles are about 1770
Now lets calculate the KGR compliance=allintitle/search volume per month
So that is not KGR compliant.
We better avoid blogging about panties for pregnant women. It looks super competitive.
Disclaimer: Ubersuggest is not the best keyword research tool in the world. I only used it because it is free. I prefer ahrefs which you can get for $7 for one week
3. Create Content
Of course before even creating content, you would need to have a blog, right?